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Indian Shares End Higher with Eyes on Ukraine Peace Talks

BENGALURU, March 29 (Reuters) - India's Nifty 50 posted its best close since mid-February on Tuesday, with investors focussing on Russia-Ukraine peace talks, while Hero MotoCorp plunged 7% after a report said the two-wheeler maker had made $131 million in bogus expenses.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.6% higher at 17,325.3, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.61% to 57,943.65, boosted by heavyweight financial stocks.

An overnight slide in oil prices on China demand fears after Shanghai went into a coronavirus lockdown buoyed equities in India, the world's third-biggest importer and consumer of oil. Brent crude rebounded on Tuesday on tight supplies.

Ukrainian and Russian negotiators met in Turkey on Tuesday for the first face-to-face talks in nearly three weeks. Ukraine and the United States hold little hope of an immediate breakthrough.

Financials and pharmaceutical stocks dominated gains in Mumbai, with the Nifty financial services index advancing 1% on a 3.1% jump in mortgage lender HDFC Ltd. The Nifty Pharma index climbed 1.5%, led by a 6% surge in IPCA Laboratories.

Truckmaker Eicher Ltd was the biggest percentage gainer on the Nifty 50, rising 4.2% to a near one-month high.

However, a 7% drop in Hero MotoCorp dragged the Nifty Auto index lower. Reuters partner ANI reported that the income tax authorities found that the company made more than 10 billion rupees in bogus expenses.

Shares of edible oil maker Ruchi Soya Industries surged 15.8%. India's market regulator gave investors an option to withdraw their applications from the company's follow-on public offering after messages were circulated advertising a discount to the offering.

Adani Power extended gains to a fifth day, rising 14% to a record high.

($1 = 75.9740 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Source: Reuters

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